A garden centre is hoping a multi-million-pound spruce up to its restaurant will plant the seeds for future growth.
Notcutts has carried out extensive works at its Norwich site with the newly revamped eating area opened to the public this week.
Richard Greenacre, general manager for Notcutts in Norwich, said the restaurant had increased from 270 covers to 380 with staff numbers rising from 28 to 49.
He said: ?The restaurant has always felt like there wasn?t enough space to fit everybody in. We have always been very garden focused rather than gift focused and people who come here like to have somewhere to sit and chat with their friends while they make a decision.
?We couldn?t always get everyone in so we needed to expand.?
As well as the work to the restaurant, the centre has increased the space available for displaying plants by around a third.?Mr Greenacre said: ?We have always been a gardener?s garden centre and we sell a lot of plants.?Most of my business is plants and it will remain so.?While we had a building site here we thought we might as well take advantage of it to make more room for plants and fertiliser.?
The Norwich site, which is the third best performing Notcutts centre, is expected to increase its turnover to around ?7m next year, up from ?5.5m, with the restaurant forecast to go from ?750,00 to ?1.3m.
Some of the trends Mr Greenacre has seen in recent months include a move towards convenience items such as pre-potted plants, as well as gardeners buying seasonal plants to keep their gardens bright all year around.
The business employs around 90 staff in Norwich and Mr Greenacre said another half-dozen could be added to the restaurant side of the centre soon.